Raising a Blended Family

Life besides pregnancy*

on June 23, 2012

(*Is there such a thing?  It’s hard to believe some days that the whole world does not suddenly now revolve around getting-ready-for-baby and newborn-tricks-101!  ;))

I know all I’ve been updating ya’ll on is the pregnancy front, but honestly, there’s other exciting stuff going on too these days and I’ve been remiss in letting it slip through the cracks without blogging about it.

For instance:  Do ya’ll remember when I was going through my PhD/nursing/PA* school dilemmas?  It was just under a year ago now, I believe, and I was very, very torn on it for a looooong time.  The long and short of it is that I ditched the PhD program (and still, a year later, could not be happier with that decision!) but then still had to decide what to do with myself afterwards… a new career was in order, obviously, but which to pick? PA or RN?  I hemmed and hawed about it on here, but then took myself and my musings offline because frankly, there’s only so many “should I or shouldn’t I or which way should I go?!” posts you can make. You would have gotten sick of hearing it.  Everyone else in my life DID get sick of hearing it.  I got sick of hearing it!  And yet, I couldn’t decide.  It took a looooot of soul-searching, and I wanted to make sure I was going after the right degree this time, you know?  But at the same time, I had this fear of not getting back into something quickly enough, of getting complacent and then not being able to work up the desire to get back into school again.  So at the same time I wanted to take my time to pick, I didn’t want to take too much time… it was tough.

But now, a year later and after wrestling with this this whole time and going back and forth numerous times, I am happily able to announce that my application for PA school is almost complete!  And by “almost complete,” I mean it is waiting on one last reference (I still need to figure out who to ask) and for me to finish being picky with editing my essay… and it’ll be done. It was a close one- I even went as far as to fill out an “interest” application for nursing a few months back… but I eventually realized that what was holding me back from PA wasn’t that I didn’t want to be a PA, but that I was scared I wouldn’t get it.  I still am, by the way.  But there’s only one sure way to NOT get in and that is to not apply at all, right? And if I don’t get in this year, there’s always next year…  Strictly speaking, I don’t have as much prior health care experience/patient care experience as I should, but I’m hoping my rockin’ GPA and strong test scores will push me through in that area.  And, you know, we’ll see.  I’m busily shadowing lots of different PAs in lots of different fields (a primary care PA, an HIV specialist, an ER PA) not only to be able to put these experiences on my application (and hopefully get my last letter of reference from one of them!), but also because it’s great experience to see exactly how a PA works and what one does and how their day-to-day job goes… something I maybe didn’t look into enough before I started the Ph.D.  So far, I have loved the shadowing experience I’m getting.

I’m also busy taking a summer course that’s a prereq for the program (and it feels so GOOD to be in school again!) and will be signing up for another self-paced (online) course once we get back from vacation, that I will hopefully finish before our son arrives.  It says it takes most students a semester to finish it, but that it can take as little as 8 weeks or as much as 8 months, depending!  Talk about a range.  I am going to start it when we get back though because really, if I can get it out of the way before the baby gets here, that will make life so much easier.

In other news, Shorty has been rockin’ at her job- got a promotion, taking on supervisor duties, and generally progressing well towards Captain-hood (her ultimate goal; she’s now a Sgt.).  I’m proud of her, and I’m glad she loves her job/career so much… there are days it makes me nervous to send her off to do it (she works in corrections), but she enjoys it and she’s GOOD at it… she’s a natural-born leader.

In sad news, something else I really haven’t spoken about is that we no longer have our four-year-old nephew Bubby living with us, and haven’t, for about a month.  I wanted to tell you at the time but I didn’t know what to say… there wasn’t much TO say.  It was a shock and it was hard, but basically, his mom took him while we were in California and refused to give him back when we returned.  He was with us for 9 months, and then gone… just like that.  Because his mom is “relatively stable” (living in some guys’ spare room in his house rent-free (insert raised eyebrow here), due with baby #3 in August (please, tell me how that is STABLE), still no job, applied for gov. housing) there is nothing I, Shorty, CPS, or anyone else can do about the situation.  It is hard knowing he is not in an ideal place (although she did enroll him in preschool, all on her own, without us suggesting it- that’s a plus!), but I must also guiltily admit it makes it easier around here too.  For instance, we now have a room for the baby (he was going to be living with us before this) and $400 more a month that we no longer have to pay for childcare.  But these are small things and in the bigger picture we would both rather have him back in a stable and nurturing environment, rather than where he is now.  But… there is nothing we can do, and life is slowly returning to the normal “pre-Bubby” state.

Speaking of kids, our own daughter has also been gone for awhile- T1 is at her dad’s for half her summer break and we have been seeing her on weekends.  It is hard not seeing her all the time, and only picking her up for these short visits! I can’t wait until she is home again for good, which won’t be until after we get back from our July 4th babymoon/honeymoon visit.  The day we return from that, we will not only be getting T1 back permanently but will also be having my parents and brother arriving in town for their two week stay! It’s going to be crazy hectic, considering that we will be going from a nice, leisurely two-adult vacation back to a six person household in the time span of one day!  But it will be good to see them all and I am looking forward to it.  We have a trip to lake Michigan (hopefully camping, if we can find a spot!) slated for that next weekend since my west-coast family has never seen the Great Lakes, plus an ultrasound while they’re here (our final one for the study, in 3D this time- yeeeeey!!!!) and celebrating T1 SEVENTH birthday (Idon’twannatalkaboutit!!!!!!!).

ANNNNND for the icing on the cake (and this is possibly cheating to include here, since it is baby-related), Shorty and I start birth classes on Tuesday.  I am excited, she less so, but since I am the one pushing the baby through a very small hole this go-round, and I feel like I would be more comfortable (comfortable. ha.) doing that if we get formal training/classes on techniques and such… Shorty has agreed to be a sport and so we’re going.  I figure if they’re useless to us (since they’re hospital-based classes and we’re homebirthing and all) we can always drop out, but I’d like to at least SEE.  So that’s Tuesday.

And there, I think I’ve finally updated you on everything.

It’s definitely been very busy around here, and looks like it will be for awhile, what with work, taking my class, preparing my application**, preparing for vacation, preparing for my parents to be here… and oh yes, preparing for baby!  But it’s all good stuff and it makes me feel good to be making forward progress on the career front and staying busy enjoying our summer in general.

I’ll try to keep you updated more on this stuff, I promise.  It’s just so easy to get lost in BABY land and forget to talk about anything else…  🙂


*For those of you unfamiliar… PA= Physician Associate= one step down from doctor.  It’s a two and a half to three year Master’s program (depending on where I get in), and students take all the same classes as med students do and do the same rotations.  The difference is PA’s don’t have to do the four years of residency afterwards and are generally expected to have some healthcare experience before entering the program, whereas MDs are not, thus making for a shorter program.  PAs can specialize in any area- surgery, neuro, OB, anything- or they can be primary care providers.  They work under a supervising physician but have diagnosing, treating, and prescribing powers and make a very decent salary.

**For those of you further interested… the timeline for PA school, if I get in, would be for the program to start next fall or January 2014.  So the baby would be either one (or very close to it) or 1 1/4 when I start, and I would be done with the program by the time he starts school.  It seems like it will be difficult but doable…


One response to “Life besides pregnancy*

  1. Love these plans. The PA program sounds great and once you get passed the nerves, you’ll be fine. I’m sorry to hear about Bubby. That’s really unfortunate but hopefully his mom is working on getting her family into a better situation. You never know how these things will work out.

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